Plisson handed French debut

Thu, 30 Jan 2014 11:42
Large julesplissonstadefrancais Large pascal pape france Large bernard le roux france

Jules Plisson will make his debut for France after being named at flyhalf for Les Bleus’ Six Nations opener against England in Paris on Saturday.

Jules Plisson will make his debut for France after being named at flyhalf for Les Bleus’ Six Nations opener against England in Paris on Saturday.

The 22-year-old will pair up with scrumhalf Jean-Marc Doussain in what will be France’s 10th different halfback pairing since Philippe Saint-Andre replaced Marc Lievremont as coach after the 2011 World Cup.

"Jules was the obvious choice as he only played 10 minutes with Stade Francais [in the Top 14] last Friday and we did a full session with him at No.10 while Francois Trinh-Duc only started training on Monday "And Jean-Marc Doussain has worked at No.9 last week," said Saint-Andre.

In the pack, Alexandre Flanquart was preferred to the more experienced Yoann Maestri.

"It's part of our strategy, England has tall players in the line-up. We also wanted to have two players who play together all year [Flanquart and captain Pascal Pape]," explained Saint-Andre.

"We have an experienced player and a player who has excellent jumping abilities."

Saint-Andre added playing England first up is "the best way to really enter the competition."

France: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Maxime Medard, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Jean-Marc Doussain, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Pascal Pape (captain), 4 Alexandre Flanquart, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Yannick Forestier, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Yoann Maestri, 20 Antoine Burban, 21 Damien Chouly, 22 Maxime Machenaud, 23 Gael Fickou.

Date: Saturday, February 1
Venue: Stade de France, Paris
Kick-off: 18:00 (17:00 GMT)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Alain Rolland (Ireland), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: Jim Yuille (Scotland)

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Ireland 5 3 0 2 14
France 5 3 0 2 14
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Wales 5 2 0 3 10
Italy 5 0 0 5 0